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DEA: Sinaloa Cartel drug trafficker used Uber cars to smuggle drugs in NYC

March 29, 2018  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
DEA: Sinaloa Cartel drug trafficker used Uber cars to smuggle drugs in NYC

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Sinaloa Cartel drug kingpin used Uber drivers to move drug in NYC

Federal prosecutors say a top Sinaloa Cartel drug trafficker nicknamed “Gordo” has been smuggling fentanyl into New York City for years — using luxury apartments in The Bronx and Manhattan as stash houses and Uber drivers as drug runners.

On Tuesday, 41-year-old Francisco Quiroz-Zamora was indicted, along with five of his drug associates, for reportedly smuggling over 44 pounds of the opioid, which he marked “Uber” and “Panda,” among other things.

Law enforcement officials used undercover officers to follow Gordo’s shipments from Mexico to Arizona and California — and eventually New York — using trucks, cars, and drug runners.

The alleged Sinaloa cartel leader was apprehended in November after coming to New York for the “purpose of collecting an additional narcotics payment” from an undercover agent, according to the New York Post.

He was required to remain in custody without bail, along with his drug smuggling co-conspirators — one of whom was identified as Uber driver Richard Rodriguez, 43.

Francisco Quiroz-Zamora (Photo: DEA)

Gordo and his intricate network of “high-level” drug smugglers have been charged in connection to a stash of fentanyl confiscated at the ritzy Umbrella Hotel in the Bronx in June 2017 and another one discovered at 448 Central Park West on August 4th.

During that period, prosecutors allege that received over $22,000 from an undercover law enforcement official via Western Union and wire transfer.

“This investigation provides the public with an inside view of a day in the life of a Sinaloa Cartel trafficker; including international travel, money pickups, and clandestine meetings,” DEA Special Agent James J. Hunt, who initiated the investigation with the New York Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Strike Force, stated.

“At the cusp of fentanyl overdoses, Quiroz-Zamora oversaw the delivery of multi-kilo loads of fentanyl to New York, powerful enough to kill millions,” he revealed in a statement. “The Strike Force and the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor quickly and efficiently seized the toxic kilos before hitting the streets and arresting all conspirators.”

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. continued, “As fentanyl overdoses claim more New Yorkers’ lives, it is more important than ever that law enforcement works swiftly and proactively to shut this trade down. We are proud to support the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor’s work to hold traffickers accountable.”

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